African Americans and the Great Waterways

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The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota Historical Society team up to present a program for Black History Month, focusing on African Americans in transportation. Join us as we navigate through the history of African American voyagers and sailors who explored the Great Lakes and Northern Territories.


  • -Indigenous and African Drum/Dance
  • -Theatrical interpretation of George Bonga and the first family of Fur Trading in the Lake Superior Region with actor Brian Grandison
  • -Panel Discussion with Peter Rachleff, David Riehle, Bill Carter and Carlyle Brown The discussion will focus on early African American settlements in Minnesota and Wisconsin, commerce, post-Civil War relationships of African Americans and American Indians and early transportation.